Lance's Story

Thank you for saving my life.

My name is Lance. I grew up in Red Hook, NY.  As a child, I suffered physical abuse from my step father and became defiant and angry, and later very violent.  I blamed everyone for my pain. I battled addiction for 35 years and moved in and out of jail and institutions for years. During my jail stays I sobered up but even then there was an emptiness in my life.  Actually, the only time I felt free was in jail. My prison was back on the streets, addicted. Eventually I destroyed my family, my business and my personal relationships.  That’s when I thought I was finally ready to start over.

In 2013 I went through a 12-month program in Albany. But I had a devastating relapse in 2016.  I lost everything rapidly and became homeless. Throughout  the winters I would come to the Capital City Rescue Mission during Code Blue.  I listened to speakers in chapel and watched  Christian movies.  But drugs and self were my gods. I pushed away any influence to turn to God.

Two years later I tried to sober up on my own, even moving out of state to leave the people who were influencing me. But I had no success and became despondent, ready to give up. On the bus traveling back to Albany, I made a plan.  I would overdose and die.  But I also desperately cried out to God. I woke up on a dirty floor in an abandoned building.  My plan hadn’t worked.  I knew God had saved me and had a different plan for me.

That day I called the Rescue Mission and asked about joining the New Life program. Monday morning I met with a staff member. I confessed to Willie that I wanted to be done with self-pity, anger and resentment.  And I needed Jesus, the Son of God, to forgive me. There was a lot to learn and it was all new to me.  I didn’t understand the Bible at all. But in the Learning Center I began a free online  study course from Dallas Theological Seminary called, “The Story of Scripture”.

My eyes began to open and I began to understand God as Creator, myself as a sinner and God’s plan to save me through Jesus Christ. I started to memorize Scripture that spoke to my life.  That emptiness inside was starting to be filled.  It was God, the Holy Spirit living in me.

Psalm 40:1-3 is personal to me.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

Toward the end of the New Life program I participated in the Mission’s chaplaincy class and became a chaplain.  After graduation I was thankful to be hired as a Resident Assistant. The first 45 years of my life were like walking in a dark forest smacking into the trees.

Today, I’m so grateful God has rescued me and Jesus has given me light. I have a new life. May God bless you for caring.

 


"God heard my cry for help"

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